Sunday, October 26, 2008
Posted by: Phat Mama Post(s) by this bloggerI attended the Viennese Ball for the first time last night and was amazed at the amount of effort the organisers had put into the décor for the event. The Grand Ballroom of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre was decked in roses and white lilies giving guests the impression of having walked right into a huge rose garden instead.
At the Cocktail Lounge, guests’ arrival was met by polite staff who unfailingly greeted anyone and everyone a “good evening”, even the crew members who were busy running up and down doing last minute checks.
This is the second year of the Viennese Ball in Malaysia and as is norm, the event is attended mainly by the cream of society.
The garden of roses comes alive.
A lot of detailed preparations had gone into organising the event such as the presence of the Austrian Ambassade-Orchestra, a fashion showcase by Malaysian fashion designer Melvin Lam and of course the piano rendition by pianist Johann Turek and the ballet performances by Jozef Dolinsky and Raffaela Pegani.
A superb performance for the night.
One of the night’s highlights were the 50 debutante couples specially selected by the organisers to perform the traditional opening ceremony. The girls looked fabulous dressed in their white designer gowns with a small bouquet of red roses each in their hands while the boys were in tuxedos. They did the quadrille under the supervision of co-ordinator and dance master Reinhard Polt.
Part of the 50 debutante couples who helped with the opening launch.
It was not long before the floor was opened to all guests led by Ambassador of Austria Dr Donatus Koeck and his wife Marie. The first stage of dancing looked a little chaotic though as some couples were not aware of the flow causing the more experienced looking a little flustered and dazed after almost knocking into each other. A little co-ordination would have been visually appealing to those observing the dance.
After midnight, the party continued at the Supper Lounge where guests were entertained to live Latin American music, something I missed due to other obligations.
The event, modeled after Europe’s Vienna Opera Ball was organised by the Austrian Embassy. Proceeds from the night went to two charitable funds, the Yayasan Tunku Naquiyuddin and the Pure Life Society.
The best part of the evening for me though was watching the arrival of female guests. They were like models parading down the runway, all decked in their fineries. However, it was rather sad that some of them did not adhere to the dress code, especially when the organisers had taken so much time and effort detailing the prerequisites on their website. Among the “do’s and don’ts”, were that guests cannot turn up in “normal street suit or short dress”. The women were expected to wear long evening gowns while men in tuxedo or tailcoat. The organisers even gave a list of reputable tailors guests could go to for a more personalized outfit. But come they did in short cocktail dresses and even the Baju Kurung, which were strictly a ‘no, no’.
The target audiences of the Viennese Ball are the Austrian and European community, members of Malaysia’s Royal family, foreign dignitaries and ambassadors, as well as socialites, celebrities and people from the business sectors both local and foreign. This list alone would already give one a good picture of the appropriate dress code required for this Black Tie event that’s associated to grace, charm, elegance and most of all glamour and prestige.
And Malaysians being Malaysians, we just cannot observe simple decorum so you see groups of people standing at the fringe of the dance floor watching people dance. In doing this they deprived others, the seated guests, the chance to watch the dance as their view was blocked by these bodies.
At a prestigious event such as this, all we need is a little common sense.